On March 18, 2021, the French data protection agency (CNIL) published, on its website, a very clear and detailed Q&A page, dedicated to the use of tracking technologies (such as cookies), explaining how to implement its recent Guidelines addressing this topic.

In April 2021, the CNIL will be launching inquiries  to assess whether websites (owned either by private or public entities) do comply with personal data protection law (more specifically with the rules pertaining to the use of tracking technologies), and whether the CNIL's Guidelines have been taken into consideration.

Some of interesting insights provided by the CNIL concern, for instance:

- the use of audience measurement technologies by websites' editors: they may benefit from the consent exemption rule (i.e., the website's editor will not be required to ask for the consent of the website's user) if certain conditions are met (e.g., these technologies must not be used to track the browsing of the website's user; statistic data generated thanks to these technologies must be anonymized - not merely pseudonymized); the CNIL will be publishing on its website a list of audience measurement tools which may benefit from the consent exemption rule.

- the featuring of social media share buttons on websites (if these buttons enable third parties to use tracking technologies, or to store them, in the device of the website's user for other purposes than enabling this user to share content through social media, for instance for advertising purposes): the consent of the website's user is required.

Originally Published by GALA, March 2021

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